Cinemark has reached a deal with Universal Pictures to allow films to show in theaters for a shorter window of time before heading to VOD. Starting this month, the animated sequel The Croods 2, Kevin Costner’s Let Him Go, and the Vince Vaughn horror-comedy Freaky will all premiere at Cinemark theaters for just a few weeks before they head to VOD in December.
Cinemark is the latest theater chain to adopt a similar strategy. Earlier, AMC also agreed to shortened theatrical windows amid the unsteady pandemic climate. Cinemark says they’re taking this approach on a case-by-case basis.
Cinemark CFO and COO Sean Gamble said, “This isn’t new,” and that the theater chain was already in talks of a deal like this even before the pandemic arose. Now just seemed like the ideal time to start implementing this strategy given the global situation. “Clearly, we’re factoring in the current environment,” Gamble said.
Theaters, in general, have been struggling this year with the coronavirus shutdowns and low attendance after partial reopening lowering revenues considerably. Cinemark’s Q3 earnings were reported at just $35 million compared to last year’s $821, so it’s clear the theater chain is struggling to find any way to stay afloat.